This title deserves a little bit of background information because it's got a rather sordid and colorful past. The original version of this show was dropped by one production company only to be picked up and sued by another production company for breach of contract. As a result, the story/series Bubblegum Crisis (2033) was never truly finished (going through a long drawn out legal process), it had a few OVA's to try to correct that but was never well done or received. 2040 is essentially a remake from beginning to end of the story proper. It did spark several spin offs during that period, but I have not yet tried to sit and watch those to see how they relate to the reviewed title. Prior to this review I sat down to watch this show for the 2nd time in 10 years, it was still enjoyable the 2nd time around thou the length of interum time probably has a lot to do with that.
It's got a slightly slow start but there is definitely a story being told here, one of men playing god and the cute girls cleaning up after them. That's extremely simplified but in the end that's what it boils down to at the beginning. Things take bizarre turns and sadly unrealistic plot devices kind of stumble things forward towards the end. While this did pull me out of the story a couple times, it didn't really ruin the show, just someone with a logical mind is going to stop and go "how is that even possible...". Besides that minor issue, the rest of the story is quite good, progression is steady, and information is given in crumbs at times and half a loaf at others. Fight scenes were not their strong point sadly, it wasn't all bad just wasn't the focus of the show as far as I could tell. I mean who's fighting a monster then suddenly decides to stand still and stare dumbfounded at the monster while it charges at you... You're in the most advanced piece of hardware humanity has to offer, it makes you run faster, jump higher, hit harder and you're going to stand there and let the giant tentacle monster grab you... seems legit. [/sarcasm] Hello forced plot device, how unpleasant to make your acquaintance, again.
Honestly... for a 1998 era, this had both good and bad points. I gave it a bit of leeway because it was originally from the '80s and so some of the designs were already slightly outdated and even so, it did have decent artwork through most of the show, rarely did it resort to still pans and I never saw it try to draw horrible crowd animations which usually resembled blobs sliding across the terrain during this era. Even the girls had some noticeable differences in their looks other than just their hair.
Explosions sounded like they went boom, crashes crunched, music played... ok there was a lot more to the sounds in this one than I'm letting on. One such point would be that one of the main characters was a singer in a band and they would actually show her performances from time to time. What I found interesting was how they integrated it into the story, but I digress. They didn't shove her singing horribly down your throat, just that it was part of her character and it was tastefully done.
So, here's where what I would consider it's true strong point but not it's only worth while side. It had a large, varied, and interesting cast of characters thrown at me. Some of them were borderline delusional and one outright insane in my book. Some grew exponentially throughout the show, some barely changed at all. Some characters you hated, some you loved, some you couldn't figure out, while others were an open book. What I found was truly key on this point will also be considered a spoiler so I can't really explain too much further than to say it's among a rare few shows that I hold in high regard for it's depiction of "good vs evil".
So, really this show had it's issues but because of the show as a whole I found it too hard to fault it for it's shortcomings and as such got a slightly higher overall rating than would average out from the rest. It has a much deeper story than many would suspect just by looking at its page here on A-P. Even some of the characters have a lot more depth than it seems at the beginning. The show starts rolling and it never really lets up the whole way through. It's not the biggest and the best title you will have ever seen, I can't lie and say you'll love it no matter what. I will say that the show is worth watching, especially if you're a fan of 80's style anime, like a little romance with your action, and a little mystery in your plot.